About Us

Primitive and Survival Skills
Wilderness Navigation
Edible & Medicinal Plants
Animal Behavior & Tracking
Native Cultures
Problem Solving
Team Building

Allan “Hawkeye” Sande

~Respect for our World, through the Quiet of the Woods~

Founder and director, Allan "Hawkeye" Sande, a Washington State native, spent his childhood exploring the wooded hills of Mason County and walking the shores of Hood Canal where an abundance of Native artifacts were there to be found. This early interest in nature and the Native Americans has grown from a life love to a teaching passion. Upon moving to the Seattle area, Allan saw the need for children to have the opportunity to explore and understand the wilderness that still remains in their own part of the world. In 1997 Quiet Heart was created. Since that time, Quiet Heart has grown into an educational program for all ages. Allan has a degree in business and a background in both Montessori and Early Childhood Education. Hawkeye has many years of experience in backpacking, mountaineering including two ascents of Mt. Rainier and a first ascent in the Olympic Mountain range.  He served two years as a  member of the Olympic Mountain Rescue team.The education offered at Quiet Heart Wilderness School will enable students, young and old, to gain in their understanding of the natural world, and instill in them a sense of stewardship toward their planet and its creatures. At Quiet Heart eyes will be opened, minds and bodies will be strengthened and hearts will grow.

Susan “Eaglewoman” Sande

A born and raised Washingtonian, Susan spent most of her youth in the desert of eastern Washington. Her interests include everything that our state has to offer from cross country skiing to mossy hiking paths to investigating sea life on our saltwater shores. Along with administrative duties for QuietHeart Susan has participated in the coming of age program. Susan’s vision and focus is to continue working with the middle-school age student to promote the feeling of community and empowerment that learning and connecting with mother earth provides for the young teen. Eaglewoman’s skills include working with textiles, beading, weaving, candle and soap making.

Eric “Little Bear” Kitching

Eric ‘Little Bear” grew up outside of a small logging town southeast of Eugene Oregon, where he spent much of his life exploring nature, camping, fishing, and hunting with his family.  He now resides in the foothills of Duvall Washington.  Eric has spent time training in backcountry methods, winter survival skills and search and rescue. Little Bear is a current student of The Tracker School, a graduate of the Wilderness Awareness Residential Program and has participated in several Art of Mentoring week long programs. Little Bear’s experience has ranged from tracking wolves, studying cougars and attending bird language intensives. He has led a course called "Communing with Nature and the Sacred Feminine" for women and "Communing with Nature and the Sacred Masculine” for men. Little Bear is a Reiki level 2 practitioner and student/practitioner of Niasziih through Wilderness Fusion. Little Bear instructs self-defense and awareness classes, especially for women and children. He runs specialized nature connection and awareness workshops in his community. Little Bear is gifted in facilitating the discovery of personal inner power, self-guidance and the connection with universal energy. As a mentor, Little Bear brings great passion for living intimately with the natural world and shares that passion with others. Little Bear has been with Quiet Heart Wilderness since 2008.

Brian “Wapiti” Harris

Brian K Harris comes to us from Fair Haven New Jersey. Brian has an Associates in Art degree from Brookdale Community College as well as a Marine Science Audit from Brookdale Community College Ocean Institute in New Jersey. Most recently Brian has been a pre-college coordinator at the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium in Fort Hancock, New Jersey. Brian has been lead staffer for supervisory duties related to pre K-12 grade field programs serving over 16,000 students per year. He has conducted hands-on field programs for school groups (Pre K – College) in ocean shoreline and estuary environments. Brian’s skills include an understanding and utilization of "primitive" technologies. He has been a student of the Earth Mentor Program at the Wilderness Awareness School Duvall Washington. It is Brian’s objective to bring the passion he has for discovery and learning to children of all ages in a fun and interactive way; and in doing so fostering positive connections between people and our surroundings.

Manon “Wild Ginger” McPeters

Manon McPeters grew up exploring the Wild Sky Wilderness and Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National forest bordering her parents’ property. She spent her teen years in Wilderness Awareness School’s teen program Community School before going to the Evergreen State College where she dabbled in Botany and Environmental Education. She completed Wilderness Awareness School’s Anake program in spring 2013, and is currently enrolled in their apprenticeship program. Manon is passionate about scouting, mud, being of service as a mentor, making baskets, and all things related to plants!

Ted Packard

Ted Packard has been sharing his love of Nature with others his whole life. Grown in Virginia, Ted spent his formative years following fox trails and catching crayfish. This led to eating wild greens, followed by wild mushrooms. After getting a Bachelor’s degree in History and a Master’s degree in Education, he spent two years travelling the East Coast playing music and exploring as many ecosystems as he could. In 2011 he moved to Washington and completed the Wilderness Certification Program at Alderleaf Wilderness College. After volunteering at Quiet Heart’s OWLE camp and working at summer camps with Wilderness Awareness School, he knew he had found the sort of Education that he felt lacking in public schools. Spending a year immersed in the Northwest woods has left him profoundly grateful for the chance to be so near to so many incredible animals, plants, and mentors of all kinds. He is passionate about the sharing of stories, music, art, games, yoga, basket making, primitive skills, and feeding the passion in others. He is so grateful for this chance to share in the growth of new skills and meaningful ties with the Earth.

Sam Royce

Sam grew up in Minnesota and moved to the Pacific Northwest to learn wilderness living and naturalist skills. He began his education with a summer long Wilderness Living Immersion through Trackers N.W. He attended Alderleaf Wilderness College where he obtained a Wilderness Skills Education and Ecology Certification, a CyberTracker Level III Certification as well as a Permaculture Design Certificate. He then continued with Alderleaf for their Instructor Apprenticeship program, and now teaches classes in Flint Knapping, Brain Tanning, Bow Making and Wilderness Survival. At home, Sam spends his energy knapping, making bows and arrows, training the cat, and eating good food.

Andy Held

Andy has spent his whole life running around the woods – as a child, with other people’s children, and with his own. Before he ‘settled down,’ he spent months at a time in the back country of North American, from the US Southwest to Canada’s Arctic. When adult commitments slowed down those adventures, he got serious about sharing his passion – and attended Wilderness Awareness School’s Anake Outdoor School and did a year-long apprenticeship working with tweens and teens. Along the way, he also taught wilderness first aid, nature summer camps, river safety courses, and nature photography workshops. When he’s not mentoring kids in the woods, he’s volunteering with pacific northwest conservation groups. He loves helping kids become comfortable and skillful in the woods.

Rachael Witt

Rachael runs with elk, flies with birds, plays with plants and laughs with the sun. After completing her B.S. in ecology and evolution underneath the redwoods at UC Santa Cruz, she followed her nomadic tendencies traveling the world to study various ecosystems and their cultures. Her journeys have led her to the overwhelming desire to connect people with nature and, more specifically, plants. She has completed an herbal apprentice with EagleSong E. Gardner as well as a wild plant intensive with Lindsay Huettman and currently wildcrafts for a local herbal business, Julia's Good Medicine. Rachael has learned to tend generational gardens by being a student as well as a teacher. Her love for teaching outdoor education has encouraged her to incorporate primitive skills into her everyday being while honoring the land and ancestors that mentor us. If she is not playing in the woods, Rachael is commonly found fermenting, wildcrafting, gardening, basket weaving, tracking, tanning hides and cultivating relationships with people, plants and animals.

Jeremy Cobb

Jeremy grew up playing, hunting, and fishing in the woods around his parents' farm in Northeast Ohio. He continued his passion for wilderness skills throughout his travels as a professional chef in Kentucky, Arizona, and California. After almost twenty years as a chef, Jeremy moved to Washington to study at Alderleaf Wilderness College. During that time he received certifications in Wilderness Education and Ecology, Instructor Apprenticeship, Permaculture Design, the McConnell Trailing Apprenticeship, and Flaked Stone Tool Technologies at A.I.N.W. He is currently knapping, practicing skills, teaching, and pursuing a BAS/MA in Archaeological Science.

Jennifer Sherer

Jen discovered her love of the outdoors while attending college in the mountains of central Pennsylvania. As a geology major, she learned about and experienced the natural world through fieldwork. She also discovered caving and spent time backpacking on the Appalachian Trail. In pursuit of environmental interests, Jen moved west to attend graduate school for hydrology. Captivated by the Rocky Mountains and the arid climate, she stayed in New Mexico to work as an environmental consultant and eventually started a family. These two passions fueled a fascination for learning and discovery with young children and ultimately led her back to school to study early childhood education. Jen has shared her interest in natural sciences with preschool and elementary-aged classrooms, substitute taught and volunteered in a Montessori program, and assisted in teaching science classes. She also developed and ran her own informal forest preschool program. Jen recently relocated to the Northwest with her family for a change of pace and scenery, and has been falling in love with it ever since. She enjoys exploring new trails and vegetation with her family and dog, having water nearby, and walking barefoot in her grassy backyard.

Nichole Crosson

Nichole was born and raised in Michigan where she enjoyed the summers, but eventually craved more mild and sunny winters :)  After graduating with a degree in Elementary Education, with a focus on early childhood, Nichole moved to Austin, TX where she taught for 6 years.  From non-profit preschools to Waldorf inspired to the Austin Science and Nature Center, she developed nature connection curriculum wherever she went.  Maybe that included taking her class on a short hike to a creek nearby and building forts, or solving a mystery by looking up feathers from the playground in a field guide, or playing sneaking and hiding games before nap time.  Nichole eventually made her way to Earth Native Wilderness School where she worked for 2 years teaching survival skills and mentoring children ages 3-16.  She created all the preschool and kindergarten programs there, including week-long summer camps and a year-long homeschool program.  During her time at the school, she participated in every adult class she could, including the tracking intensive, basket making, bird language, and more.  This year she is attending the Wilderness Awareness School to be a student in the Anake program!  Nichole is excited to deepen her connection with the earth and primitive skills, knowing that this can only make her a more knowledgable and connected mentor for her students!

Martine Twito

Martine grew up on the east coast and enjoyed getting outside with her family sailing, hiking and cross-country skiing. She earned a BA in History and an MA in Education and taught high school history and led backpacking trips for teenagers for a number of years. Martine traveled to Namibia to teach primary school English. Martine’s summers were spent working at a residential girls camp in Maine where experiential learning in nature was the focus and she spent her days sharing her joy of learning and playing in the outdoors. When Martine arrived in Seattle for a new teaching job, she looked at the mountains and decided she was in the right place. Since then, Martine has been teaching, hiking, camping, cooking and parenting in her new northwest home. She now supports the Quiet Heart office and enjoys hearing tales from the field.